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Friday, December 4, 2009

Problem Solving Taught Through Engineering?

In a recent post about China, you will recall I made the point that Chinese schools are still focusing on retention while American schools are looking for ways to teach collaborative problem solving.  The Derby school district in Kansas has introduced engineering at the middle and high school to use as a platform to teach theses strategies.  Next year, they will introduce a similar program to their elementary schools.  This pilot program looks very promising to me.

Kansas school to be first to offer engineering at the elementary level
A Kansas school district is set to become the first in the nation to offer engineering classes at the elementary-school level. The Derby school district began offering engineering courses in middle and high schools this year, but a pilot program next year will bring aerospace engineering lessons to a district elementary school. The curriculum is designed by Project Lead the Way and will include hands-on and computer-based activities. The Wichita Eagle (Kan.) 

When discussing this project with Jake Bogar, physics teacher at Mt. Blue High School, he shared the following information: 

" Excellent article. I have been interested in the potential of incorporating engineering/technical classes in the elementary grades. Project Lead the way is an extensive program. I had looked at these interesting books to potentially use with younger students."

What a great way to teach young students strategic problem solving and develop their meta-cognitive awareness!

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